Roundup: NFL cuts for Sept. 3

Updated: September 4, 2011, 1:45 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Two-time Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson was among those released by the Miami Dolphins to meet the NFL's mandated roster limit of 53 players.

Johnson, who had his contract terminated Saturday, signed last week after sitting out most of last season when his career was derailed by a series of off-the-field missteps.

Miami also terminated the contracts of cornerback Will Allen, a veteran who missed all of last season with a knee injury, and fullback Lousaka Polite, an eighth-year veteran who started 24 games over the past three seasons.

Placed on injured reserve with a toe injury was backup tackle Lydon Murtha. The Dolphins waived two of their four quarterbacks, Pat Devlin and Kevin O'Connell.

Jaguars place Jennings on IR, waive Carey

The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed backup running back Rashad Jennings on injured reserve and waived safety Don Carey, who started 10 games last season.

The Jaguars also placed cornerback David Jones, defensive end Aaron Morgan, running back Richard Murphy and defensive tackle D'Anthony Smith on IR.

The team acquired defensive back Dwight Lowery in a trade with the New York Jets, allowing the team to part ways with Carey.

Other notable players waived were running back DuJuan Harris, defensive end Larry Hart and cornerback Terrence Wheatley. Return specialist Scotty McGee was waived/injured. If he clears waivers, he will revert to the team's injured reserve list.

Olshansky, Gronkowski among Dallas' cuts

Demoted defensive lineman Igor Olshansky, last year's starting fullback Chris Gronkowski and veteran kickers Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner were among the players the Dallas Cowboys released.

The departure of the experienced legs means the Cowboys are sticking with David Buehler and Dan Bailey. Buehler almost certainly will handle kickoffs. It remains to be seen whether there's still a competition for field goals, or if that will be Bailey's role.

Olshanky's release was no surprise because he was dropped in the rotation. Cutting him saves more than $3.3 million against the salary cap.

Bears release Taylor, after all

The Chicago Bears made it official and let running back Chester Taylor go, bringing an expected end to a wild chain of events.

Taylor appeared to be on the way out for a while, hinting he was finished in Chicago early in the week. He did not play in the third preseason game at Tennessee and left team headquarters thinking he had been released after a meeting with coach Lovie Smith on Monday. He was back practicing the next day and started the exhibition-finale against Cleveland on Thursday, struggling for 27 yards on 10 attempts.

He said afterward he wasn't sure about his future in Chicago.

"I still love football," he said Thursday. "I still love playing the game. I still believe I can help a team win."

The Bears terminated the veteran's contract along with tight end Desmond Clark. They also waived defensive tackle Marcus Harrison and eight other players while placing rookie linebacker J.T. Thomas on IR with a hip problem.

Colts put Harris' career in limbo

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris was hoping to revive his career in Indianapolis. He didn't even make it to opening day, one of 27 players waived by the Colts.

Harris made three straight Pro Bowls with the Bears from 2005-07 and was a key cog in the team's Super Bowl run during the 2006 season. He was hindered by injuries the past three seasons and was released by the Bears in February before the lockout.

The four other veteran free agents Indy signed in August -- defensive linemen Jamaal Anderson and Tyler Braxton, quarterback Kerry Collins and linebacker Ernie Sims -- all made the roster. All are former first-round picks.

The Colts also released two of their eight draft picks from 2010 -- guard Jacques McClendon and defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews. A third defensive back, Ray Fisher, didn't make the team last year. Receiver Taj Smith, Indy's leading receiver during the preseason, was placed on the waived-injured list after receiver Blair White was activated from the physically unable to perform list. Undrafted rookie David Gilreath, who was competing for the kick and punt returner job, was waived, too.

Rams cut Avery, Gilyard, keep Alexander

Wide receivers Donnie Avery and Mardy Gilyard were among 20 players waived by the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams decided to keep deep threat Danario Alexander despite concerns about his left knee, which has undergone five operations. Wide receiver Mark Clayton, signed last week while still rehabbing a surgically repaired knee, was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

St. Louis also gave the backup quarterback job to A.J. Feeley by waiving Thaddeus Lewis, who made a strong challenge in the preseason after spending last year on the practice squad. Linebacker Zac Diles, signed to a free-agent deal this summer, also was cut.

The Rams also waived defensive backs Tim Atchison and Tae Evans; tight end Demarco Crosby; defensive backs Tae Evans and Jonathan Nelson; defensive tackles Marlon Favorite, John Henderson and Daniel Muir; offensive tackles Kevin Hughes and Ryan McKee; wide receiver Greg Mathews; guard Quinn Ojinnaka; tight end Fendi Onobun; running backs Chase Reynolds and Keith Toston; and defensive end George Selvie.

Steelers prefer Sepulveda at punter

The Pittsburgh Steelers waived punter Jeremy Kapinos, offensive lineman Tony Hills, tight end John Gilmore, defensive lineman Jarrett Crittenton and defensive back Crezdon Butler were cut.

Kapinos had been in a spirited battle with Dan Sepulveda during training camp and actually had a better average (49.8) than Sepulveda (45.7) during the preseason.

Hills, a fourth-round pick by the Steelers in the 2008 draft, failed to impress during camp despite extended looks at guard. Gilmore, signed as a free agent from Tampa Bay last month, had just one reception during the four exhibitions and was beat out by undrafted rookie Weslye Saunders for one of the three spots.

Saints put Ivory on PUP list

The Saints put Chris Ivory, who led the team in rushing last season despite playing in only 12 games, on the physically unable to perform list.

Ivory has yet to recover from offseason foot surgery or sports hernia surgery. After missing all of training camp on the failed physical list, he'll be out at least six weeks.

By placing Ivory on the PUP list, the Saints will head into Thursday's season opener at Green Bay with four running backs, including first-round pick Mark Ingram and free agent acquisition Darren Sproles. Joique Bell earned his way onto the roster after leading the team in preseason with 182 yards on 31 carries.

Meanwhile, safeties Chris Reis and Pierson Prioleau were let go after being key members of the Saints' special teams unit the past two seasons.

Lions cut Harris, Vasher, WR Williams

The Detroit Lions released Nick Harris, their punter since the 2003 season, and put undrafted rookie Ryan Donahue on the roster.

Detroit also released defensive back Nathan Vasher and receiver Derrick Williams.

The Lions also activated cornerback Alphonso Smith off the non-football injury list and put tackle Johnny Culbreath on the injured list.

Detroit's other cuts included: linebacker Caleb Campbell, fullback Matt Clapp, running back Ian Johnson, quarterback Zac Robinson, defensive back Ricardo Silva and receiver Tim Toone.

Jets trade Lowery to Jags in two-deal day

The New York Jets have traded defensive back Dwight Lowery to the Jaguars for an undisclosed conditional draft choice.

New York also acquired guard Caleb Schlauderaff from Green Bay, also for an undisclosed conditional draft choice.

The Jets have cut 26 players, including wide receivers Scotty McKnight, a childhood friend of quarterback Mark Sanchez, and Patrick Turner, a former teammate of Sanchez's at USC. Among those making New York's initial roster is linebacker Aaron Maybin, the former Buffalo first-round pick who was released by the Bills after two unproductive seasons.

Lowery spent three seasons as a versatile safety and cornerback for the Jets after being drafted in the fourth round out of San Jose State.

Titans trade draft pick to Packers

The Tennessee Titans traded a future draft pick to the Packers for fullback Quinn Johnson to replace Ahmard Hall during his four-game suspension.

The 6-foot-1, 263-pound Johnson has played in 20 NFL games, including four starts last season for the Packers. The Titans have a roster exemption for star running back Chris Johnson.

Tennessee also placed receiver Kevin Curtis and offensive tackle Adam Terry on injured reserve, and placed receiver Yamon Figurs and cornerback Pete Ittersagen on the waived-injured list . They reached an injury settlement with defensive end Jacob Ford, who struggled to stay healthy since being drafted in the sixth round in 2007.

Tennessee also waived receiver Justin Gage, safety Robert Johnson, cornerback Frank Walker, guard Ryan Durand and defensive end Pannel Egboh.

Minimal notable cuts for Chargers

There were few surprises among the San Diego Chargers' cuts, but receiver Seyi Ajirotutu and defensive lineman Ogemdi Nwagbuo, who has been with the team since 2009, rank among the notable cuts.

Rookie quarterback Scott Tolzien was also released after a productive preseason, but the team hopes he clears waivers and can be added to the practice squad.

Among the players to make the cut is veteran inside linebacker Stephen Cooper, who has continued playing despite a torn biceps tendon that will require surgery.

Outside linebacker Darryl Gamble is the only undrafted free agent to make the squad, earning a roster spot with a productive preseason where he played the majority of snaps because of injury to veterans. Even after a solid preseason, Gamble wasn't sure if he'd have a job.

Seahawks' 20 cuts include Cole, Gibson

The Seattle Seahawks released veteran defensive tackle Colin Cole and offensive lineman Mike Gibson among their 20 roster cuts.

The Seahawks also placed defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson on injured reserve after Wilkerson suffered a knee injury in Friday night's preseason finale against Oakland.

The Seahawks cut just one draft pick, releasing safety Mark LeGree, who was a fifth-round pick out of Appalachian State. Seattle cut safety Josh Pinkard as well after undrafted free agent Jeron Johnson out of Boise State impressed during training camp.

Other undrafted rookies to make Seattle's final roster include QB Josh Portis and WR Doug Baldwin.

Panthers poised to make some moves

The Carolina Panthers, who have first dibs on all waiver claims, kept only three cornerbacks and three defensive tackles, so they'll be looking for help outside the organization at those two positions in the next day or two.

The most notable cuts included defensive tackles Corvey Irvin and Nick Hayden, running backs Tyrell Sutton and Josh Vaughan, and fullback Tony Fiammetta.

The Panthers also cut wide receivers Wallace Wright, Charly Martin, Darvin Adams and Jamorris Warren; tight end Greg Smith; offensive linemen Ryan Pugh, Jacob Bender and John Gianninoto; defensive linemen Malcolm Tatum, Ugo Chinasa and DelJuan Robinson; linebackers Lawrence Wilson and Sean Ware; cornerbacks Robert McClain, Chevis Jackson, C.J. Wilson and Kendric Burney; safety Michael Greco and kicker Adi Kunalic.

The team placed offensive lineman Garry Williams on injured reserve after he fractured his ankle in Thursday night's preseason finale against Pittsburgh and cornerback Brandon Hogan on the physically unable to perform list, which means he's out at least six more weeks.

Ravens let go of Gooden, Hardy

Linebacker Tavares Gooden and wide receiver James Hardy were among 25 players cut by the Baltimore Ravens, who also placed offensive tackle Ramon Harewood on IR.

The Ravens also terminated the contract of linebacker Prescott Burgess.

Gooden is a former third-round draft pick from the University of Miami. Harewood is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his ankle. Hardy, a former Buffalo Bills second-round draft pick, got off to a good start in training camp but missed much of the preseason with a chronic hamstring problem.

Burgess led the Ravens in special-teams tackles over the past two seasons. Baltimore also cut former fourth-round pick Marcus Smith, a wide receiver.

Falcons release John Parker Wilson

The Falcons have cut quarterback John Parker Wilson and nine others, including 2011 seventh-round draft pick Andrew Jackson, an offensive guard from Fresno State.

The cuts leave the Falcons with Chris Redman as the only backup to starting quarterback Matt Ryan. Wilson, from Alabama, was Atlanta's third quarterback but did not appear in a game in 2010.

The team also cut center Brett Romberg, safety Rafael Bush, receivers Kevin Cone and Drew Davis, linebacker Robert James, defense end Emmanuel Stephens and tackle Jose Valdez.

The team reached an injury settlement with tight end Ryan Winterswyk.

Two undrafted rookies, cornerback Darrin Walls of Notre Dame and defensive tackle Carlton Powell of Virginia Tech, made the team.

Josh McCown among 49ers' cuts

After that much-publicized search for a third quarterback, Josh McCown was among 26 players released by the San Francisco 49ers.

Whether parting ways with McCown means the Niners have their eyes on another QB who might become available is unclear. San Francisco has starter Alex Smith and rookie second-round pick Colin Kaepernick.

The team opens its first season under coach Jim Harbaugh next Sunday against the defending NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco also placed tight end Nate Byham on injured reserve with a season-ending knee injury. Cornerback Phillip Adams, guard Tony Wragge and wideout Dominique Zeigler also were released.

The 32-year-old McCown, who spent last season with the United Football League's Hartford Colonials, has passed for 6,584 career yards and 35 touchdowns with Arizona, Detroit, Oakland and Carolina.

Packers cut 23 players

The Green Bay Packers released 23 players, including third-string quarterback Graham Harrell, and traded two more players to get down to the 53-man limit.

Fullback Quinn Johnson was traded to Tennessee for an undisclosed draft pick, and rookie guard Caleb Schlauderaff, a sixth-round pick, was dealt to the Jets, also for an undisclosed pick.

The other players released were wide receivers Diondre Borel, Tori Gurley, Kerry Taylor and Chastin West; safeties Anthony Bratton, Anthony Levine and Brandon Underwood; offensive linemen Chris Campbell and Ray Dominguez; nose tackles Chris Donaldson and Jay Ross; linebackers Ricky Elmore, Cardia Jackson and Elijah Joseph; center Sampson Genus; cornerbacks Josh Gordy and Brandian Ross; fullback Jon Hoese; defensive end Eli Joseph; center/guard Nick McDonald; and running backs Dimitri Nance and Brandon Saine.

Chiefs put tight end Moeaki on IR

The Kansas City Chiefs put Tony Moeaki on injured reserve after the second-year tight end was hurt in their final preseason game against Packers.

The Chiefs also put linebacker Gabe Miller on IR and waived 25 other players to reach the 53-man limit.

The loss of Moeaki is a significant blow to the defending AFC West champions. Moeaki caught 47 passes for 556 yards and three touchdowns last season. That leaves tight ends Leonard Pope, Jake O'Connell and Anthony Becht to fill in, though Kansas City could add someone else off waivers.

Raiders cut backup QB Edwards

The Oakland Raiders released backup quarterback Trent Edwards and longtime linebacker Sam Williams.

Among the other notable players cut were three defensive backs from last year's draft. Cornerbacks Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware, and safety Stevie Brown were among the 26 players cut. Oakland also released former Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard a little more than a week after he was brought in as a free agent.

The Raiders kept all eight of this year's draft picks on the active roster. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, taken in the supplemental draft last month, does not count against the roster until after serving his five-game suspension.

Redskins cut two quarterbacks

The Washington Redskins cut quarterbacks Kellen Clemens and Matt Gutierrez.

Among the veterans who failed to make the cut was offensive lineman Artis Hicks, who started 10 games for the Redskins last season but has been supplanted by free agent signing Chris Chester. Of the Redskins' three backup offensive linemen, eight-year veteran Sean Locklear is the only one with NFL experience.

Eight of the team's 12 draft picks made the roster. Sixth-round running back Evan Royster, sixth-round receiver Aldrick Robinson and seventh-round offensive lineman Maurice Hurt were cut, and second-round defensive end Jarvis Jenkins is on injured reserve with a torn knee ligament.

Also cut were receivers Aldrick Robinson and Isaac Anderson; linebackers Edgar Jones, Horatio Blades and Thaddeus Gibson; nose tackle Anthony Bryant; tackles Clint Oldenburg and Selvish Capers; tight ends Derek Schouman and Tony Curtis; running backs Keiland Williams and Shaun Draughn; safeties Anderson Russell and Chris Horton; cornerback Reggie Jones; center Donovan Raiola; and defensive ends Jeff Stehle and Doug Worthington.

Veterans Cook, Dugan, Farwell waived

The Minnesota Vikings waived offensive lineman Ryan Cook, tight end Jeff Dugan and linebacker Heath Farwell, three vested veterans who've been valuable backups for several seasons.

Cook and Chris DeGeare, a fifth-round draft pick last year, were waived in favor of rookies Brandon Fusco and DeMarcus Love as reserves on the offensive line.

Rookie Allen Reisner, undrafted out of Iowa, made the team instead of Dugan as a backup tight end. Farwell was also beaten out by undrafted rookie, Larry Dean from Valdosta State.

Bills veteran center Hangartner among final cuts

The lack of experienced depth along the Buffalo Bills' offensive line grew even thinner after veteran center Geoff Hangartner was among the team's cuts.

Hangartner was among 22 players released four days after telling The Associated Press he had assurances from the Bills' coaching staff that he would make the team. He's a six-year NFL veteran who had lost his starting job at center to Eric Wood this offseason.

Coach Chan Gailey said he never provided Hangartner any assurances. "I've never said that," Gailey said. Hangartner wasn't available for comment. His agent, Eric Metz, declined comment except to say, "After 27 years of this, it's all about actions, not words."

Buffalo also cut three more offensive linemen, second-year tackle Cordaro Howard, third-year guard Mansfield Wrotto and rookie center Michael Switzer. Second-year tackle Ed Wang (shoulder) was one of four players placed on the waived injured list.

Browns release 27, put RB Jackson on IR

The Cleveland Browns released 27 players and put running back Brandon Jackson on season-ending injured reserve with a toe injury.

Jackson signed a two-year, $4.5 million free agent contract with Cleveland before training camp opened. He got hurt in an Aug. 19 exhibition against Detroit and has been in a cast for two weeks. The Browns have not specified his injury and given no timetable for his return.

Despite having plenty of money to spend in free agency, the Browns were not aggressive while other teams splurged. The one significant move they did make was getting Jackson, a key contributor for the Super Bowl champion Packers last season. The Browns had planned to use Jackson on third downs and to spell Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty, who is coming off knee surgery.

That job now goes to Armond Smith, an undrafted free agent from Union College. Smith had some nice moments during the exhibition season, breaking off an 81-yard touchdown run against Detroit, but he also had trouble holding onto the ball.

The Browns also released third-string quarterback Jarrett Brown, who could clear waivers and be added to the practice squad.

Ogbonnaya, Adibi among Texans' cuts

Running back Chris Ogbonnaya, linebacker Xavier Adibi and defensive tackle Damione Lewis were among the players released by the Texans.

Houston also waived veteran punter Brad Maynard; receivers Dorin Dickerson, Trindon Holliday, Jeff Maehl and Derrick Townsel; running back Javarris Williams; fullback Zac Pauga; offensive tackles Peter Hendrickson and Cole Pemberton; centers Cody Wallace and Howard Barbieri; guard Andrew Gardner; and long snapper Scott Albritton.

On the defensive side, Houston cut ends Scooter Berry and John Graves; nose tackle Guy Miller; safeties Quintin Demps, Shiloh Keo and Torri Williams; and linebackers Mister Alexander, Steven Friday and Stanford Keglar. Keo was a fifth-round draft pick by Houston.

Rookie linebacker Cheta Ozougwo (left foot) and receiver Terrence Toliver (concussion) were placed on IR.

Bengals LB Rivers, CB Jones out with injuries

Cincinnati placed cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones and linebacker Keith Rivers on injured lists, sidelining them for at least the first six weeks of the season.

Jones had offseason neck surgery and couldn't participate in contract drills during training camp. Rivers had surgery on his right wrist and is wearing a cast.

The Bengals also had right guard Bobbie Williams suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL's ban on performance-enhancing substances. The 12th-year veteran has started all 16 games each of the last four seasons.

The Bengals also released guard Max Jean-Gilles, who signed as a free agent during training camp, and third-string quarterback Dan LeFevour as they got down to the roster limit. They'll go with two quarterbacks -- Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski.

Linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, who tore his Achilles, and tight end Bo Scaife, who hurt his neck, are out for the season after going on the injured reserve list. The Bengals also released defensive end Victor Adeyanju and cornerback Jonathan Wade.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.